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An Introduction to the NIST PDES Toolkit



Steve Clark


The PDES (Product Data Exchange using STEP) activity is the United States' effort in support of the Standard for the Exchange of Product Model Data (STEP), an emerging international standard for the interchange of product data between various vendors' CAD/CAM systems and other manufacturing-related software. A National PDES Testbed has been established at the National Institute of Standards and Technology to provide testing and validation facilities for the emerging standard. The Testbed is funded by the CALS (Computer-aided Acquisition and Logistic Support) program of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. As part of the testing effort, NIST is charges with providing a software toolkit for manipulating PDES data. This NIST PDES Toolkit, which is in the Public Domain, is an evolving, research-oriented set of software tools. Although it is fairly stable and in daily use at NIST, the Toolkit is not intended to be the basis for commercial-quality PDES implementations. This report briefly describes each of the currently available components of the Toolkit, and provides references to other documents for detailed information on each.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 4336
Report Number


CAD, CAM, manufacturing, PDES, STEP


Clark, S. (1990), An Introduction to the NIST PDES Toolkit, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 20, 2024)


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Created June 1, 1990, Updated November 10, 2018